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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Friday Free For All- Meet Author Cherie Marks!

Please help me welcome debut author CHERIE MARKS! Not only is Cherie a fellow Wild Rose Press author, but she is also a fellow Ass Cheek Angel blogger. 
You can find out more about Cherie and her writing on her website http://www.cheriemarks.com
But come on back and visit with me and Cherie. :)


Welcome and congrats on your debut!

Where is your favorite place to write?
Wherever I am.  Unfortunately, I don’t have a specific writer space currently.  Most of the time, if I get to choose, I write at the kitchen table—activity central—so I’ve had to adapt to noise and interruptions during writing time.  Otherwise, I write while sitting on the couch, in bed, at work during lunch breaks, at the local Barnes and Noble, or wherever I happen to be when time allows.  That’s the nice thing about using a laptop and a USB drive.  I can set up quickly and shut down at a moment’s notice, if need be.

What is the most difficult for you to write: Characters, conflict, emotions?
Believe it or not—emotions. Yes, yes, I am a girl and very emotional myself, and in my head, I know how my characters are feeling, but I don’t always translate that well to the paper.  It’s a relatively new skill for me to use a character’s body language, inner-monologue, and actions to create emotion on paper, but when it’s right, I do a little dance (inside of course).

Tell us about your real life romance.
I met my husband a few times before we ever dated. Once was right after I’d had my wisdom teeth removed. He made me feel beautiful, even with a bruised, swollen jaw. The next summer, I was working as a cook at a church camp, and he was a camp counselor for a week. Although we flirted a little, we were both beginning relationships with other people. The next summer, we were both summer camp employees, and we were both single. We began dating, and eighteen years and three kids later, we’re still each other’s best friend and favorite person to be with. He’s one of my biggest supporters, and I couldn’t ask for a bigger cheerleader when I’m in writing mode.

What was the best advice you were given leading you to getting published?
Be persistent.  Don’t take a rejection personally or as the end of your journey.  Instead, take it as a learning experience and keep moving forward.

What is your favorite dessert/food?
Since Into the Fire contains lots of info about chefs, cooking, and food, thought I’d talk about one of my favorite desserts e-v-e-r. It’s a seven-layer chocolate cake from a restaurant called Longhorn Steakhouse, and though it’s big enough for two, I rarely share. I just eat half at the restaurant and the other half later. Twice as nice.
Favorite romance movie?
One of my favorite romance movies of all time is Love Actually. It is an episodic love story with several characters. Two of the funniest characters are stand-ins for…uh…adult video stars. They aren’t adult video actors themselves; they just stand-in to get the shots set up. It’s so funny how nonchalant they are even as they are put in very awkward positions.  Of course, in the end, they decide to go out. Hugh Grant and Colin Firth also star, and their love stories are the best; not to mention, they’re not bad to look at for an hour and a half.

Blurb
Months after he stole her affections—then her executive chef position—Shyann and Luke meet again under sizzling circumstances, competing head-to-head on a televised cooking show called Kitchen Twist. Each arrives with a motive: Luke intends to win back Shyann’s heart, even as she wants closure on the not-so-tasty heartbreak he once served up.
Luke knows culinary masterpieces require a delicate touch, but that knowledge is tossed out with the leftovers as he works to show Shyann he’s not such a bad guy. Now he pushes his skills to the limit to win the competition and satisfy a bet.
Can two top chefs resist each other as they move out of the pan and into the fire?

Excerpt
Silence reigned for half a minute before he reached out a hand and touched hers like a breezy
whisper. Her head went a little fuzzy at the warm contact. He shouldn’t still be able to affect her so
strongly.

“I regret it went down the way it did, but why did you show me the exit before giving me a chance
to explain, not to mention—dress? Enlighten me, sugar cheeks?”

With a jerk, she pulled her hand free. He was really asking for it. Sugar cheeks? Seriously? Now
she knew he was only messing with her. She could give as well as she got.

“Tell you what. You win tonight, and I’ll give you your chance. You lose, we go our separate ways,
and you walk out all by yourself, big boy.”

A crooked grin formed on his face as he reached a hand toward her hair. He fingered an escaping curl
before she pulled away, leaving his hand hanging in mid-air.

“You can call me big boy all you want, but I’ll do you one better. How about if I win, I take you to
dinner, and you let me explain the whole situation?”

She felt her eyebrow rise and knew he’d read it as interest, but she didn’t care at the moment. “I
honestly don’t want to hear any explanation from you now or ever, but if I win? Which I will, of
course.”

“Then I’ll leave it up to you. If you want me to walk away, I will.” He took a step closer, placed his
hand on her shoulder, and leaned down, his mouth right next to her ear. “But if you want me to call you darling, sweetheart, and sugar cheeks all night long, I’ll do that too.”

Thanks, Cherie!

Into the Fire available at http://tinyurl.com/3mfn3zj from The Wild Rose Press, October 5, 2011

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Free For All Friday - Meet Author Alyson Reuben!

I'm so happy to welcome the talented ALYSON REUBEN to the blog today. I'm reading her latest release, A BEAUTIFUL CAGE, right now! I have to tell you ladies, I'm loving it :)  Set in Nazi Germany, it's an historical that steps out of the typical setting.


You can learn more about Alyson at her website www.alysonreuben.com   
or enjoy her blog at www.abiteofreubensandwich.blogspot.com
Then come on back and visit with Alyson:)


Thanks for being here today!


1- Was your road to publication a delightful stroll in the park or a tiring jog over hot coals?

* The process of writing A Beautiful Cage took me a couple years, because I started the story, left it for a while, then returned to it. But the road to publication was probably closer to a stroll than a tiring jog. At first, I only submitted to agents. No luck there. On the plus side, I queried to only a couple of publishers before The Wild Rose Press offered to publish it. Edits were minimal. And I’ve had nothing but the very best working relationship with all the editors and my wonderful fellow authors.

2- What is the most difficult for you to write: Characters, conflict, emotions?


*Hmm. This is a tricky question, because my characters are steeped in conflict and emotions. I guess the action/conflict scenes might be the hardest. But I think it really depends on the particular scene.

3- Tell us about your real life romance.


*I’ve known my husband, who is older than me, since I was a kid because our families have been friends a long time. I have to admit I didn’t like him at all. He was snobby and was always teasing me, calling me a spoiled snotty-nosed brat. He had his girlfriends and his job, and I had my school and life. Totally opposite people with completely opposite lives. Funny how that works. Fast forward to my young adulthood and he’s suddenly noticing me from a whole new angle. And I’m seeing his personality in a way I never noticed when I was a kid. He actually turned out to be human. Ha! Okay, actually, he’s a fantastic guy! I’ve been married to him for the past 16 years, so that has to prove it! I support his passion for music (he plays the piano and sings), and he supports my writing 100%. Besides being my best friend, he’s also my best fan. Now I call that real romance!

4- Do you believe in love at first sight?


*Yes… although, for the most part, many people’s boast to love at first sight is really lust at first sight. However, I personally know two couples who really did fall in love instantly, without knowing a thing about each other. It seems a bit mystical and rare, but I think it happens to certain people.

5 - If you could time travel would you go forward or backward?


*Definitely backward! I’m a huge history lover. But the particular time I’d choose depends on my current mood. I might go back to the vintage eras, like the twenties or fifties. Then again, I might want to go back much further. Maybe to the Renaissance period or to the Civil War.

6 - What is your favorite time of year?


* I’m a worshipper of golden summers. In fact, I already miss those spectacular, heat-filled days. Especially after attending the outdoor field trip Tuesday with my daughter in the cold, wet rain. Umbrellas are absolutely NO defense against bone-penetrating dampness. Mother nature must’ve been experiencing rotten PMS when she created late fall and winter! Brrr!

Sometime in the future, if I have my way, by careful saving and scrimping, my family will pack up and move to a year-round warm climate. Please buy by books and add funds to this worthy cause!!! Just kidding. Actually *rubbing my icy nose* no, I’m not.

7- What is your favorite dessert/food?


*Chocolate moose. Chocolate Black Forest cake. Chocolate chip cookies. Chocolate ice-cream. Oh, and just plain ol’ chocolate will work too.

Blurb:
A BEAUTIFUL CAGE

Wanted by the Gestapo, Rebecca Bloomberg is on the run for her life. Sheltering in the home of a reporter who writes absurd lies for a Nazi propaganda newspaper is hardly an ideal solution. Irresistibly drawn to the man, she dares not trust him, until she discovers his journalist position is a mask for involvement in an anti-Nazi resistance ring.

Gustav Von Furst has done all he can to perfect his mask. Neither his family nor his close friends know the truth. Hiding a Jewish girl is the most foolish risk, yet there is something about her that makes him want to protect her.

Eager to forget the outside world, Rebecca and Gustav are caught up in a private world of forbidden passion—until unexpected danger lands on their doorstep and they’re faced with a decision that will change everything. Will love demand a sacrifice too great to give?

Excerpt:

Mortified, Rebecca covered her mouth with her hand. “I must be drunk.”

Gustav cocked an eyebrow, his expression a knowing one.

Faces at very close range, she swallowed tightly. “Well, maybe I’m not drunk…”

“It’s all right to enjoy yourself, Becky. Just be yourself. I like you this way.”

“You?” she whispered. “Herr von Furst, the serious journalist, actually likes for me to be silly?”

His answer was to pull her tight against him.


And he didn’t just kiss her.

He enveloped her.

The room was suddenly spinning. And they weren’t even dancing.

How was it possible that in all of tonight’s brisk bouncing, spiraling, and twirling she hadn’t felt as dizzy as she did right now?

She caught a quick, shaky breath when their lips parted a hairbreadth.

“Will you think me horrible, Gustav, if I confess that you make me want you even when I know I shouldn’t?”

His answering kiss was the only response she needed.

For several seconds, Gustav was tempted to tear off that damned provocative dress.  Instead, he took his time, slowly unzipping it while kissing her warm, upturned lips in a way that made Rebecca limper in his arms and his own body harder by the second.

Up until now, he hadn’t been sure what to expect from her tonight, figuring she’d want nothing to do with him after their first negative encounter. And even now, with her consent, he knew he should proceed with care. Rebecca, strong and independent in so many ways, was also emotionally fragile. Besides, she was worth far more than a quickie, more than a brief encounter. She deserved to be touched with adulating finesse.

Lightly rubbing his palm in circles around her bare back, he began kissing her neck, pressing his lips against her fluttering pulse. Trailing farther down to her collarbone, he nuzzled her sweet-smelling-skin, sniffing deeply, entranced by the delicious scent lingering there. Vanilla? Whatever it was, it could make a man absolutely drunk with longing.

Rebecca’s fingers were caressing his head. And her barely audible sighs were proof that he was doing all the right things.

Keeping one arm behind her back, he stooped and slid the other under her knees, lifting her up in his arms. “Our dancing isn’t over tonight, Becky,” he murmured, ducking his chin to barely graze his lips against hers. “I think we might initiate another kind of dance, ja?”

Buy links:
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Beautiful-Cage-Alyson-Reuben/dp/160154958X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1319007144&sr=8-1
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-beautiful-cage-alyson-reuben/1105584348 
The Wild Rose Press: http://www.thewildrosepress.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=176_145&products_id=4606

My author links:
website: www.alysonreuben.com
blog site: www.abiteofreubensandwich.blogspot.com
twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/alysonreuben
facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Alyson-Reubens-Author-Page/107423069337260
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5171065.Alyson_Reuben

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Friday Free For All - Meet Jennifer Ann Coffeen!


Hi everyone! Please help me welcome author JENNIFER ANN COFFEEN! Not only do we share a name ;) - but Jennifer is also a Wild Rose Press author. 
Jennifer has brought her release, PRICELESS DECEPTION, a Regency Historical that has an air of suspense. You can learn more about Jennifer and all her work at her website http://jennifercoffeen.com/index.html

 Then come on back, grab a cup of coffee - I'm having French Vanilla this morning - and visit with the Jennifers :)

Thanks for being here today, Jennifer!

- Was your road to publication a delightful stroll in the park or a tiring jog over hot coals?
Hmmm… I think I have to go with the hot coals one. It took several years to finish Priceless Deception, but that was mostly because of me! Once it was polished and ready for submission I probably queried for 9 months before Wild Rose Press offered me a contract. One agent even asked me to do rewrites, I did, and then she said she wasn’t taking on any more authors! I can’t be too upset about it, those rewrites made the book much better.

- Where is your favorite place to write?
Honestly, my favorite place to write is away from my computer. I love writing with a pen and notebook, for some reason the words flow much easier that way. I tend to write my first drafts by hand and often go back to the pen when I get stuck in a scene. I enjoy writing in coffee shops and the park when I get the chance.

- Do you have critique partners?
Last year I had 4 different writing partners that I met with on a weekly basis. I love critique partners! It’s really helpful to have someone read your work with fresh eyes. They can also help you set goals and work out problems with your scenes.

- Tell us about your real life romance.
My husband and I met as Zombies. We were in a play called “Among the Dead” during our Chicago theater days.  It was great fun, we spent most of our early dates chatting backstage with tons of zombie makeup on. A horror romance perhaps?  It worked for us because we’ve been together for 9 years! We spent our honeymoon in Italy, that was rather romantic too.


- Tell us a little about your WIP. 

I am currently working on a Regency era novella series. The first story centers around Lady Charlotte Mallen who has recently been dumped by the man she worships, and right before the famous Beltane ball! She turns to her old childhood friend for help in getting him back. But perhaps James isn’t as sweet and innocent as he seems…

 - What is your favorite writing conference to attend? 

This year I will be attending the RWA Chicago North Spring Fling. If you’re planning to attend come up and say hello! I love to meet new authors and readers.



BLURB:
“The French Blue diamond must be destroyed.” Haunted by the words of her dying father, Lady Madeline Sinclair arrives for the London Season with more than parties and the latest fashion on her mind. She has sworn a vow, and the beautifully headstrong and fearless Madeline will allow nothing to distract her…until she meets the infamous Lord Colin, Duke of Douglas, a man known for his scandalous past engagement. With a dark grin and stormy eyes, he threatens to make her forget her duty, along with her manners.
Bound together by the mysterious diamond, Madeline and Colin soon succumb to the passion raging between them, even as the diamond eludes their grasp. But the true threat lies in the hands of an enemy whose dangerous obsession with the past has the power to destroy them both.

EXCERPT:

“I promise not to hit you again,” she replied, forcing a light tone. “If you promise not to throw me to the ground and—”
“And?” One eyebrow shot up.
“Provoke me.”
He laughed then, a full, rich sound that seemed to drop the tension from his face. He was more recognizable now, and Madeline felt her shoulders relax.
“I am sorry,” she added. “My behavior that day was unforgivable. I do hope we can start over as friends, Lord Douglas.”
She held out her hand, the small warning bell in her head quickly silenced.
“It would be my pleasure.” He took the offered fingers, bending slightly to press them against his lips. Not a trace of impropriety, but a sigh caught in her throat all the same, and she held it there, no longer breathing.
In the back of her mind she knew this was not a good idea. She knew perfectly well she should invent some excuse, run straight back into the ballroom and discuss Lady Farris’s flowers. She didn’t move.
“And since we are already intimately acquainted, I must insist you call me Colin.”
“Colin,” she said, finally exhaling so the name rushed out in a breathless tone. She wildly searched her mind for something else to say but never managed a word.
Colin pulled her to him, the kiss as much a surprise as her own response to it. Madeline’s body instantly betrayed her, melting against the strong arms that held her until she had lost all sense of her earlier outrage. The world fell away, leaving nothing but Colin’s searing lips blistering her own—and the faint smell of lilacs.

FIND JENNIFER:


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Free For All Friday - Meet Author Jill James!

Please help me welcome the fabulous JILL JAMES! She's brought her newest release, DIVORCE INTERRUPTED. Love that title and the cover is gorgeous.
You can find out more about Jill and all her work at her website http://www.jilljameswrites.com 
Then come on back, grab a cup of coffee and talk with us!


Thanks for being here today, Jill :)


 Where is your favorite place to write? The Starbucks cafe at Barnes and Noble. I love being surrounded by books and people reading and writing too. The smell of the fresh baked cookies and the whir of the espresso machine just adds to the ambiance.


 What is the most difficult for you to write: Characters, conflict, emotions? I'm a very quiet, private person with lots of Alpha males in my life. That lends itself to conflict, which I hate with a passion. I will do anything to avoid confrontation. I can't tell you how many flame wars I've started to add an email or post to, and then just delete without sending.
 Classic Novel you would like to see turned into a movie? Skye O'Malley by Bertrice Small. I have loved this romance novel for many, many years. I would love to see Skye on the big screen. She is a larger than life character, who lived her life to the fullest.
Do you believe in love at first sight? It sounds so plausible in a novel, doesn't it? But no, I believe in like at first sight or lust at first sight. Lust is a nice beginning to a relationship to see if you are compatible. And if not? Hey, lust has its moments too. LOL
 How likely are people you meet to end up in your next book? Very likely. If you tell me a funny story or have a unique saying you use all the time, it will probably be in one of my books some day.
 What did you do to celebrate when your first book was published? I took my best friend and critique partner to a very fancy, expensive lunch to celebrate signing that first contract. My husband threw me an enormous (over 50 people in our house) launch party when the first book came out.
DIVORCE INTERRUPTED BLURB:

Newly-divorced Todd and Lisa Miller are stranded at their mountain cabin. There to divide a lifetime of memories, they soon are in danger from more than the anger between them. A vicious storm forces them to rely on each other to survive.

Can they trust the one person they lost belief in? Or are their hearts in danger from more than floods and frigid weather?

EXCERPT: 
The wind crashed against the bay window in the front of the cabin. Lisa Miller jumped up and knocked over her chair. Her shaking hand flew to her chest. Her heartbeat pounded. “That one sounded like it went through the window.”
She peered around the doorway to the living room. She sighed in relief. The glass was still in one piece, although a large pine bough sat on the front porch. The wet needles stood out in bas-relief against the graying sky.
This had been a bad idea, she berated herself. She could’ve waited for the storm of the century to pass before she came up to the lake. Even with her husband, Todd, coming next week, she could’ve waited. A sob caught in her throat like a burr. Todd, her newly, the ink hardly dry on the divorce decree, ex-husband.
She righted the chair and fell into it. How had it come to this? She’d been in love with Todd for as long as she could remember. He’d been her first boyfriend, her first lover, and she’d been sure, her last.
Throwing her head back, Lisa stared at the ceiling. Finding no comfort in the familiar cedar logs, she brought her head down and gazed into space. Her sight unfocused, the kitchen viewed through a haze of tears she refused to shed.
Twenty years. Gone in an instant. Her abrupt decision to take her boss up on his umpteenth attempt at flirting. A nano-second to throw it all away. For what turned out to be mediocre sex at best. Todd had ruined her for any other man. He loved her with his heart and soul, and she’d trampled it for half the allotted time in a tawdry motel with hourly rates and smelly, overused sheets.
****
Jill’s Links
 Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/jill_james